Toys / Comics to Toys / DCDirect

Return Of Superman Steel

By Hervé St-Louis
June 20, 2004 - 11:45

Although recently retired, Steel remains popular enough to warrant an action figure by DCDirect. This action figure is part of the Return of the Supermen storyline featured in all Superman books after his death, in the early 1990s. Like other Dc characters rendered into plastic, although other figures of the character exist, the DCDirect cast is the best. Let's see why.


The figure resembles the early Steel seen in the Reign of Supermen story. At the time, several artists drew the character with slight variations. It's difficult to say which look is right. Following complaints from fans, DCDirect modified the prototype of the Steel action figure. The original figure had toes which made him look much like an art deco inspired figure. It's a sad loss stylistically that DCDirect enacted the change.


Steel's armour has simplified ornaments covering his body. The combination of strapping on top of the figure's shape is what gives it an art deco feel. Furthermore, Steel's face is angular and almost robot like. The exception to this almost mechanical styling is the free flowing cape. A criticism would be that because of the figure's broad shoulders and the pads on top, it buries his head as if he didn't have a neck.


The colour styling is simple, yet appropriate. The base colour is a dark grey covered with metallic highlights, while protruding areas are covered with silver paint. The type of silver paint DCDirect used will fade out quickly when manipulating the figure.


Steel is one of the tallest figures in the DCDirect line. He's much taller than the Modern Age Superman and the JLA figures released in 2003. However, he fits very well with all recent Superman figures from DCDirect and JLA figures like the Martian Manhunter, the JLA Wonder Woman, the JLA Flash, and the JLA Aquaman.


This figure has stability problems. He is top heavy. His chest weights much and is badly supported by his very thin knees. They should have been larger to afford more stability. Although the figure's feet are flat and wide, the figure has a tendency to fall on its back because of the weight of its cape. Even when using the broad action figure stand that came with the package, the figure will fall. A second peg hole is needed.


This figure has 13 articulations at the neck, the shoulders, the elbows, the wrists, the waist, the hips, the knees and an extra rotating forearm Gatling gun. Although the shoulders have ball joints, the shoulder pads on the figure limit their motion. Be careful with the shoulder pads. They seem very fragile. The cuts in the knees are off center. It helps destabilize the figure. Steel's opened hands can carry his staff.


It seems that DCDirect has reverted to one of the stronger plastic that they used in the past. That's why the figure is so heavy. His shoulder pads are lighter. The cape consists of rubber. Although rubber is great for capes, it attracts much dust.


Steel comes with a power staff styled after a hammer. It's covered with silver paint.


Steel came within a blister pack detailing other Return of Supermen action figures.


This figure costs about the same as individual DCDirect action figures that is to say, it is more expensive than similar action figures from other vendors. Prices vary from store to store because DCDirect doesn't suggest any specific price point.


Most of the Return of Supermen figures were very popular. Their appeal, however may be limited to hardcore Superman fans and people who remember a storyline published over a decade ago. However, this is the only figure of Steel from DCDirect. Since the character just retired, it is uncertain if DCDirect will create another, even if he was popular enough to get his own movie a few years ago.

Read related reviews such as:

  • Modern Superman
  • Supergirl
  • Silver Age Superman and Lois
  • Mattel Batman and Superman

  • Last Updated: January 24, 2022 - 11:00

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